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Video Interview Tips

Video Interview Tips to Know Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak

Have you suddenly found yourself transitioning from an in-person interview to a video interview? If so, you’re not alone. Hundreds of companies are canceling face-to-face job interviews due to the growing concerns of the Coronavirus. As a result, more employers, such as Google and Microsoft, are moving their interviews to a virtual format. If you find yourself in this situation, it can be overwhelming; especially if it happened suddenly. However, here are a few video interview tips to ensure you pass it with flying colors.

Test your video equipment

The first thing you want to do is test your equipment and software. Be sure that your laptop or tablet is up to date to assure you don’t have any issues. Test out the video software that you will be using. Whether it’s Skype or Zoom, it’s essential to be familiar with the software to limit potential “operator errors.” Also, test your internet connection and ensure that it’s strong enough to video chat. You definitely don’t want your internet connection to time out and lose your connection mid-interview. Last but not least, make sure everything is charged up and ready to go!

Eliminate all distractions

When you’re sitting down to do your video interview, you want to ensure you eliminate any distractions around you. Get the kids out of the house, let the dog out in the backyard, and turn off anything that can and will make noise. Have a tidy desk and a clean space around you. Pick a nice area in your home to conduct your video interview with nothing incriminating or distracting in the background. The fewer distractions around you, the better you will be able to focus on the conversation and make a strong impression!

Treat it like any other interview

At the end of the day, the principles for a video interview are similar to any other interview. Do your due diligence on the company before your conversation, dress for success, have good posture and eye contact, and don’t forget that thank you note! Our friends over at Indeed produced a short video that does an excellent job summarizing how to prepare for a video interview:

Take advantage of the booming labor market

There are a lot of concerns about the Coronavirus’s impact on hiring as we approach the end of the first quarter. However, this media-crazed virus has yet to impact the job market. Thus, don’t let COVID-19 derail your job search. You may be doing more video interviews as a precaution, but at the end of the day, your job search will carry on as usual. Hopefully, these video interview tips will calm some of those job search jitters. Good luck!

why are you looking for a new job

How to Explain Why Are You Looking for A New Job

At the beginning of almost every job interview, you will likely be asked something on the lines of, “Why are you looking for a new job?” Now, there is a multitude of reasons why you may be looking for a new job opportunity. However, successfully answering this question will make or break your interview. Here are three common scenarios of why you may be looking for a new job and how to respond to this tricky subject.

Prepare your answer beforehand

First of all, prepare an answer to this question before your interview. Whether you quit you’re your job, you were let go, or you are just simply looking for a better opportunity, your answer to this question should focus on the position at hand. Don’t focus on the negatives regarding your past or current employer. Instead, your response should focus on why you’re an excellent fit for the position and the company.

Stay positive

This is a difficult interview question to answer. If you’re looking for a new job, you are probably unsatisfied with some aspect of your job: your compensation, your day-to-day duties, your manager, etc. But the absolute last thing you want to do is badmouth your employer. No matter how bad your job or manager is, never speak ill of them. It creates a wrong impression and will put a dark shadow over your candidacy.

Why were you were let go, fired, or laid off?

It happens to the best of us. Being laid off or fired from your position stinks, but lying about it makes it worse. When formulating your answer, honesty is the best policy. But don’t be honest to a fault. The best way to answer this question in this situation is to be direct but not divulge too much information. Essentially, you want to give a straight answer that is truthful and one that doesn’t sound bitter.

Here’s a good example explaining why you were fired:

“Unfortunately, I was let go from my previous position. However, I have learned a lot from the experience, and I am confident this will not happen again. I am a hard-working employee, and I am ready to prove that my skillset is a great match for this position.”

Why did you quit?

There could be dozens of reasons why you quit your job and are currently looking for new opportunities. However, you once again want to stay positive and forgo giving away too much information. Have your answer focus on the job that’s in front of you, not the one you left. Here’s a great example from Indeed on how to answer why you quit your job:

“Ultimately, I’ve learned a lot from my previous role, but I’m looking for the next step where I can continue to grow and use the skills I’ve honed to contribute to a company I love, and this opportunity seems to be the perfect fit.”

Why do you want to leave your current position?

If you are still employed and interviewing for a new position, this is probably the easiest of the three scenarios. As long as you don’t badmouth your current employer or talk about better compensation, you can easily generate an answer to this question. Focus on your skill set and why you would be a great match for this position.

Here’s an example:

“At my current position, I don’t believe I am being challenged anymore and want to find a new position that better fits my growing skillset. I saw the job description for this position, and was really excited about this opportunity because I believe my background and passion for [insert role/industry/field/etc.] will allow me to be a successful addition to the team.”

Regardless of why you are looking for a new job, your best bet is, to be honest, positive, and tie in your excitement for the position. And if you want some leads on exciting job opportunities, check out our job board! Good luck!

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

Everyone knows that the way you dress for an interview determines a lot about how your future employer views you. In fact, managers form their opinions within the first 90 seconds of meeting you, so greet them with a smile, give them a solid handshake, and of course, dress for success. But first, it’s important to understand how the meaning behind ‘dress for success’ is changing with the millennial generation.

Unfortunately, 75% of managers think that millennials dress inappropriately for job interviews. But this doesn’t have to be you! Trends and styles may be evolving, but there are three dress code tips that you can always live by.

3 Dress Code Tips You Can Count On: 

1. Keep it Professional, Always

Interviews are a time for you to show off your professionalism, skills, and experience. The best rule of thumb to follow is to dress one step up from the company dress code. Check out their website and social media to try and find some pictures of the typical day-to-day style of the organization. For men: suits, ties, belts, and professional shoes are always a safe bet. For women: blazers, dress pants and skirts, heels/flats, and a nice blouse will always impress your potential employer, no matter the position!

2. Check your fit

Apparel that is too tight, too loose, or shows too much skin will lead to an unprofessional first impression. Women, remember if you’re wearing a skirt, it should be knee-length! And for men, don’t wear a suit that is too big. The interview should focus on if you’re a fit for the job, not if your clothes fit properly.

3. When in Doubt, Keep It Simple! 

Wear simple lines and neutral colors like black, navy, and gray if you want to err on the cautious side. Not only do they belong to the ultimate classic palette, neutrals are flattering on every skin tone. And after all, your outfit should not distract your future employer from the focus of the interview, YOU!

While these rules won’t ever steer you wrong, there does seem to be a little more flexibility. Millenials want to show off who they are through their clothes, which is a good thing, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time! Yet, while you want to show your personality, it is important to keep it professional. Here are some interview dress code trends that you can incorporate to add a splash of fun to your professional look.

Exciting Millenial Dress Code Trends: 

Accent Pieces

Add a fun accent piece like a necklace, bracelet, watch, shoes, or crazy socks to show off your personality and style. These items are a totally acceptable way to have some fun with your interview fit. Accent pieces like a handbag or fun socks can be the ice breaker or talking point you need!

Bright Colors

Feeling bold? Add a hint of color to your outfit! A bright blouse with a neutral suit is a stylish eye-catcher. A fun pocket square will add a bit of interest to a classic suit.

Women: Jumpsuits and High-Waisted Dress Pants

Skirts are no longer the go-to piece for women in an interview. Show that you are on-trend by rocking a professional jumpsuit or some high wasted dress pants with a blouse or blazer.

Styles, trends, and culture are changing in the workplace, so make it a goal to aim for a combination of classy with a splash of personality by following these millennial dress code tips. And if you’re unsure of what to wear, stick to what is universally accepted! It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Just remember, your outfit choice alone will not land you your next job! It’s going to be your skills, personality, and experience that shine through to open career opportunities for you.

How To Avoid False-Positive Hiring Decisions

How To Avoid False-Positive Hiring Decisions

There is an art to interviewing, and just because someone has mastered that aspect it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person to hire, which is why we want to discuss false-positive hiring. This is when you hire someone who excels during the interview but underperforms on the job once hired. How can you avoid making this fateful mistake? Follow these 3 steps to ensure that you aren’t hiring candidates just because they’re an expert interviewer.

Dig deeper

Many interviews feature the same questions. “Why do you want to work here?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “Why should we hire you?” And while these questions can be an effective initial gauge, it’s crucial to push candidates a little further in order to understand their true personalities and motivations. Always ask candidates to elaborate on their answers and ask further questions based on their responses.

Seek diversity

When sifting through resumes and conducting interviews, be sure to assess a variety of candidates. Seek diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, experience, and more. It’s been proven that teams with more diversity consistently perform better and are overall more successful. Additionally, this will allow you to avoid confirmation bias, wherein you hire someone whom you think would be suitable for the job without actually assessing their skills

Set clear expectations about the job (and follow-through)

When candidates have an idyllic concept of the job they’re interviewing for in their mind, they may just say anything necessary to get the job. To truly understand if someone will be a good fit, explain all aspects of the job, good and bad. Ask behavioral questions centered around the challenges of the position to avoid false-positive hiring. Pry the candidate on how they work on teams, individually, and how they like to be managed. Discuss 30, 60, and 90-day goals and how employees are evaluated at each stage. Be sure to follow through on those evaluations, and don’t be afraid to set high expectations!

Looking for more tips on how to improve your hiring process? Connect with one of our experienced team members today!

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Candidates

Interviewing candidates can be challenging. Not only is it time-consuming, but also there is a lot of pressure to determine precisely if this person will be the right fit for your position, team, and company as a whole. One of the best ways to do this is via behavioral interview questions. In fact, behavioral interviewing is often considered to be the most effective technique across different levels, organizations, and industries.

Here is a quick synopsis of behavioral interviewing from SHRM:

“Behavioral interviewing focuses on a candidate’s past experiences by asking candidates to provide specific examples of how they have demonstrated certain behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Answers to behavioral interview questions should provide verifiable, concrete evidence as to how a candidate has dealt with issues in the past. This information often reveals a candidate’s actual level of experience and his or her potential to handle similar situations in your organization.”

So, which behavioral interview questions should you ask in order to compare candidates and determine their qualifications objectively? Let’s jump right into a few of our favorites here at JSG.

Describe your proudest professional accomplishment.

This is a great question to kick off a behavioral interview. It allows the candidate to reference something they’re passionate about and gets them more comfortable right off the bat. When listening to their answer, try to pick up on a couple of cues. Do they give credit to other team members? How significant of an accomplishment was it? Did this accomplishment assist in propelling their career development further?

Tell me about a time you failed. What could you have done to make it better, and how did you move past it?

Everyone has failed at some point in their career. In fact, your best candidates will have experienced plenty of failures. The difference is that they will have learned and grown from each situation. Avoid candidates who dance around giving an actual failure. Don’t take a page out of Michael Scott’s book. This is not the time for a fluffy answer of “I care too much.”

Behavioral Interview Questions

Give me an example of a time when you had to work with someone whose personality was different from yours.

This question can be tricky to answer. You are NOT looking for the candidate to throw a previous coworker under the bus. You should be, however, interested in discovering how they handle conflict in general. Do they address it head-on or look for support from upper management? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but the insights you gain can help you understand how to manage this person best.

Describe a time when you were juggling a lot of different projects. How did you prioritize?

The logic behind this question is twofold. First, you’ll be able to understand what the candidate deems as “a lot of projects.” Second, you’ll get an inside peek into their thought process. Everyone gets overwhelmed at times; it’s how we handle it that’s most important.

So, these four behavior interview questions will help you determine if the candidate is a true fit for your team.

insightful interview questions

5 Insightful Interview Questions You Should be Asking

If you have an interview coming up, chances are you’ve spent a decent amount of time preparing answers to typical interview questions. And while it’s essential that you are ready for whatever questions are thrown your way, have you thought about the questions you’ll ask? Inevitably at the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask, “So, what questions do you have for us?” Don’t get caught empty-handed! These are just a few insightful interview questions for candidates to ask at the end of an interview that will leave a great impression.

How could I make an immediate impact in this role?

This is a great question to kick off the last part of your interview. Most importantly, it allows the interviewer to picture you in the role. However, it also gives you a significant hint as to how you can be successful if hired. Listen for key indicators of success; do they expect you to hit benchmarks immediately? Or is there an extensive training period that you need to conquer first?

How does this role interact with other team members and departments?

The answer to this question will be valuable in understanding how you would fit into the greater company puzzle. Depending on the response, you will also gain insight into whether it’s a good fit for you personally. It may be a more independent role with limited interaction with other team members, or it could be highly social with interactions on multiple levels.

What excites you most about working for this company?

This question is strategically worded for the interviewer to answer depending on their interpretation. They may talk about all of the things they love about working there. Or, they may delve into some exciting future projects. Either way, feel free to ask a follow-up question to get the other answer!

How would you describe the company culture here?

Hopefully, you did your due diligence before the interview and gained a basic understanding of the company culture. However, asking an interviewer this question can give you insights you can’t get online! Moreover, they may share some insider information about company get-togethers and office comradery.

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

You will find this question on every list we write because it’s arguably the most important! Asking about the next steps shows your interest in continuing with the process. Additionally, it will give you valuable information about when you can follow up without feeling like a pest.

Hopefully, these five insightful interview questions will help you reach success in your next job interview. And if you’re looking for some great answers to common interview questions, here’s our helpful guide.

modern interview questions

How to Answer 5 Modern Interview Questions

Interviewing has changed significantly over the years. From handshake agreements to video conference interviews from halfway around the world, modernization has changed how we find and hire candidates. As a job seeker, this means that you could always encounter something new during the hiring process. Today, we’re covering five modern interview questions and how you should answer so that you can nail your next interview!

What’s something you could teach me?

In today’s modern workforce, there is a large discrepancy in age and, thus, experience. Baby Boomers have years of industry experience that comes with a wealth of valuable knowledge. Likewise, Millennials and Generation Z grew up in the age of tech, which often comes with its own advantages. To answer this question, focus on a unique value that you have acquired throughout your career or experiences. Try not to make assumptions about what the interviewer knows or doesn’t know right off the bat!

What Podcasts do you like to listen to?

According to 2019 statistics, 51% of Americans have listened to a Podcast. If you are part of that group, you probably have a great answer ready to go! If not, we suggest jumping on board. There are thousands of Podcasts available for consumption on anything from industry news to pop culture. Depending on how formal the interview is, you may want to adjust your answer. Although, you never know if a bond over Bachelor-related Podcasts could be what makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates!

Do you keep up with current events? How do you consume your news?

Of course, you should be keeping up with current events daily, but how you are consuming news can be a bit tricky. We’re going to spoil it for you a bit by saying that social media alone is not an acceptable answer. We encourage you to add industry news to your daily email subscriptions. No matter what your specialty is, there are always new advancements and industry trends of which you want to be aware.

Pro tip: check out our blog to stay up-to-date with industry news and the current state of the labor market!

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Questions like this bring levity to an interview. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer (as long as the song is appropriate)! The interviewer is merely trying to make you feel more comfortable and turn the interview more conversational. Have fun with your answer (and be prepared to follow through if you get hired and invited to employee karaoke night!)

Why are manhole covers round?

This popular modern interview question comes up in interviews with large companies more frequently than you’d think. You may know the answer (click here to find out!), or you may not. What really matters is the thought process behind your answer. With thought-provoking questions like these, feel free to think out loud so that your interviewer can get a glimpse into your thought process.

Keep these five answers in mind when you head into your next interview. And if you are looking for some more interview advice, check out all of our great interview recourses!

behavioral interview questions

Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Asking Candidates

Interviewing candidates can be challenging. Not only is it time-consuming, but there’s a lot of pressure to determine precisely if this person will be the right fit for your position, team, and company as a whole. One of the best ways to do this is via behavioral interview questions. In fact, behavioral interviewing is often considered to be the most effective technique across different levels, organizations, and industries. 

Here is a quick synopsis of behavioral interviewing from SHRM

“Behavioral interviewing focuses on a candidate’s past experiences by asking candidates to provide specific examples of how they have demonstrated certain behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Answers to behavioral interview questions should provide verifiable, concrete evidence as to how a candidate has dealt with issues in the past. This information often reveals a candidate’s actual level of experience and his or her potential to handle similar situations in your organization.”

So, which behavioral interview questions should you ask to compare candidates and determine their qualifications objectively? Let’s jump right into a few of our favorites here at JSG.

Describe your proudest professional accomplishment. 

This is a great question to kick off a behavioral interview. It allows the candidate to reference something they’re passionate about and get comfortable right off the bat. When listening to their answer, try to pick up on a couple of cues. Do they credit other team members? How significant of an accomplishment was it? Did this accomplishment assist in propelling their career development further?

Tell me about a time you failed. What could you have done to make it better, and how did you move past it? 

Everyone has failed at some point in their career. In fact, your best candidates will have experienced plenty of failures. The difference is that they will have learned and grown from each situation. Avoid candidates who dance around, giving an actual failure. This is not the time for a fluffy answer of “I care too much.” You want a real answer that demonstrates that the candidate is self-aware and capable of learning from and moving on from shortcomings.

Give me an example of a time when you had to work with someone whose personality was different from yours. 

This question can be tricky to answer. You are NOT looking for the candidate to throw a previous coworker under the bus. You should be, however, interested in discovering how they handle conflict in general. Do they address it head-on or look for support from upper management? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but the insights you gain can help you understand how to manage this person best. 

Describe a time when you were juggling a lot of different projects. How did you prioritize? 

The logic behind this question is two-fold. First, you’ll be able to understand what the candidate deems as “a lot of projects.” Secondly, you’ll get an inside peek into their thought process. Everyone gets overwhelmed at times; it’s how we handle it that’s most important.

Behavioral interview questions are a great technique to determine if a candidate is a right fit for the position and your team. If you want to read some of our other go-to interview advice, check out our blog!

dress for your next interview

How to Dress for Your Next Interview

dress for your next interview

The market is hot, and if you’re included in the over 30% of American workers that are seriously considering leaving their jobs, you may have an upcoming interview. But what should you wear to your interview? Well, that depends! Different employers, industries, and departments have specific expectations on what you should wear. Here is a brief guideline on how to dress for success in your next interview.

Manufacturing/Labor setting

If your job interview is in a manufacturing or labor setting, you obviously don’t want to show up in a suit and tie. Instead, wear a button-down shirt and some nice jeans. If you will be on the manufacturing floor or walking around the job site, be sure to wear your steel toe boots! You will more than likely receive a brief tour and want to ensure you are prepared to walk the premises safely.

Professional setting

If you’re interviewing in a professional environment, you will want to dress the part. Wear a suit and a tie or a skirt and a nice blouse. Wear neutral colors and be sure to limit the accessories/jewelry you wear. You want the focus to be on you as the candidate, not what you are wearing. Try not to wear anything that may distract your interviewers. And be sure that your fancy dress attire is nicely pressed and ironed!

Casual setting

If your interview is in more of an informal setting, then you have the opportunity to dress a step down from professional attire and wear a business casual outfit. In this setting, you will want to wear some nice pants and a button-down shirt, maybe a blazer at the most. You don’t want to come to your interview way overdressed. Again, you want the attention focused on you, not what you are wearing. And be sure to wear some nice shoes! Even in a casual setting, you want to wear shoes that leave a great impression. Don’t walk into the front door of your prospective employer with those old grungy sneakers you wear to mow the lawn.

Video interview setting

Last but not least, there is even a dress code for a video interview. Here, you will want to dress appropriately for the employer’s dress code. If it’s a casual setting, dress business casual in your interview. If it’s a professional setting, wear your suit jacket or a nice blouse. You don’t need to put your entire outfit on; however, your interviewers will be able to see you from your torso up, so dress accordingly. Just because you’re at home for this interview doesn’t mean you get the luxury of wearing your pajamas. Bonus tip: be sure you have a clean, plain background for your interview. You don’t want to have a bunch of clutter around you to distract your interviewers (or even yourself) from the conversation.

If you are not sure what the dress code is for the employer, just ask. The hiring manager or human resources professional will be happy to share this information. And if you are still not sure what to wear, it’s always wise to dress a step up than to come in underdressed for your interview.

why do you want to work here

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” In An Interview

why do you want to work here

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, there is a high chance your interviewer asks something along the lines of, “Why do you want to work here?” We live in an age where technology connects us in more ways than ever. However, interviewers still like to ask this question to gain an understanding of the motivations behind your job search. The good news is, you can use the web to your advantage and arm yourself with a great answer to this question.

Answers To Avoid In An Interview

First and foremost, you want to avoid giving a completely one-sided answer. It’s important to stay away from anything that focuses only on how the job will serve you. Your prospective interviewer is well aware of the perks and benefits offered at their company. Next, do no say you just want this job to pay the bills. Highlighting these things only comes across as self-serving in a setting where you are trying to show the value you will provide to them, not the value you will receive as a result.

Finally, don’t use this as an opportunity to bash your former employer. You may be unhappy with your current role, but it isn’t appropriate to focus on negatives while trying to improve your situation with a new company.

What to Focus on Instead

Instead, focus on how you identify with the company. Are you a lifelong user of their service or product? Do they have a mission or cause that resonates with you? Do you have a lot in common with their employees? Use the information you’ve gathered online to form a solid opinion about the company. We also recommend that you reference comments made by the interviewer throughout your meeting. Did they mention that the team is extremely collaborative? Or that you’ll have the independence to run your own desk? This serves a dual purpose in both answering the question and showing that you’re listening. And most importantly, don’t forget to mention how well you envision yourself fitting within their company culture.